How does a composer make sure his works make an impact? Composer Edward Elgar wants to know and petitions Holmes. Straight after this encounter, Elgar starts on the work that is to become his masterpiece. And to maximize public interest in it, the composer and Holmes indicate that there are mysteries about its content, inspiration, and origin. On one matter, Holmes withholds an insight of his from Elgar and -- deliberately or not -- the title Enigma Variations is the result. It is only after Elgar's death and an illuminating night-time encounter with a literary contemporary of Elgar that Holmes discloses his insight, and even then insists it remain secret until after his own death.